Background: There are very few studies on reasons for loss to follow-up from TB treatment in Central Asia. This study assessed risk factors for LTFU and compared their occurrence with successfully treated (ST) patients in Tajikistan.
Methods: This study took place in all TB facilities in the 19 districts with at least 5 TB patients registered as loss to follow-up (LTFU) from treatment. With a matched case control design we included all LTFU patients registered in the selected districts in 2011 and 2012 as cases, with ST patients from the same districts being controls. Data were copied from patient records and registers. Conditional logistic regressions were run to analyse associations between collected variables and LTFU as dependent variable.
Results: Three hundred cases were compared to 592 controls. Half of the cases had migrated or moved. In multivariate analysis, risk factors associated with increased LTFU were migration to another country, moving within country, having side effects of treatment and being previously treated for TB. Medical staff also mentioned patient refusal, stigma and family problems as risk factors.
Conclusions: LTFU of TB patients in Tajikistan is largely a result of migration, and to a lesser extent associated with side-effects and previous treatment. There is a need to strengthen referral between health facilities within Tajikistan and with neighbouring countries and support patients with side effects and/or previous TB to prevent loss to follow-up from treatment.

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BMC Infectious Diseases
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Wohlleben, J., Makhmudova, M., Saidova, F., Azamova, S., Mergenthaler, C., & Verver, S. (2017). Risk factors associated with loss to follow-up from tuberculosis treatment in Tajikistan: A case-control study. BMC Infectious Diseases, 17(1). doi:10.1186/s12879-017-2655-7